Proteomic and Post-Translational Modification Profiling of Exosome-Mimetic Nanovesicles Compared to Exosomes

Proteomics. 2019 Apr;19(8):e1800161. doi: 10.1002/pmic.201800161. Epub 2019 Apr 3.


Issues associated with upscaling exosome production for therapeutic use may be overcome through utilizing artificial exosomes. Cell-derived mimetic nanovesicles (M-NVs) are a potentially promising alternative to exosomes for clinical applicability, demonstrating higher yield without incumbent production and isolation issues. Although several studies have shown that M-NVs have similar morphology, size and therapeutic potential compared to exosomes, comprehensive characterization and to what extent M-NVs components mimic exosomes remain elusive. M-NVs were generated through the extrusion of cells and proteomic profiling demonstrated an enrichment of proteins associated with membrane and cytosolic components. The proteomic data herein reveal a subset of proteins that are highly abundant in M-NVs in comparison to exosomes. M-NVs contain proteins that largely represent the parental cell proteome, whereas the profile of exosomal proteins highlight their endosomally derived origin. This advantage of M-NVs alleviates the necessity of endosomal sorting of endogenous therapeutic proteins or RNA into exosomes. This study also highlights differences in protein post-translational modifications among M-NVs, as distinct from exosomes. Overall this study provides key insights into defining the proteome composition of M-NVs as a distinct from exosomes, and the potential advantage of M-NVs as an alternative nanocarrier when spontaneous endosomal sorting of therapeutics are limited.

Keywords: artificial extracellular vesicles; exosomes; extracellular vesicles; mimetic-nanovesicles; post-translational modification; proteomics; therapeutic exosomes.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Biomimetics
  • Exosomes / metabolism*
  • Humans
  • Microscopy, Electron, Transmission
  • Protein Processing, Post-Translational / genetics
  • Protein Processing, Post-Translational / physiology
  • Proteomics / methods*
  • Ultracentrifugation